William Shakespeare’s Star Wars by Ian Doescher

Who would have thought that Star Wars and Shakespeare would go so well together? Well, Ian Doescher did and William Shakespeare’s Star Wars is the result. It answers the question I am sure many have asked, “What if William Shakespeare wrote Star Wars?” Okay, that question probably does not come up too often, but the idea is not that farfetched. After all, William Shakespeare is arguably the English language’s finest dramatist and Star Wars is, without argue, THE FINEST MOTION PICTURE OF ALL TIME (yes, I said “without argue.” Do not argue with me on this point. Just…no, don’t do it. Shh. Stop. No.). William Shakespeare’s Star Wars is like a gooey collision of peanut butter and chocolate for fans of both Star Wars and Shakespeare.

It’s not perfect, of course, and my first impression was that the novelty of the thing wears off fairly quickly. Also, I felt that, from a playwriting perspective, the thing might be a little difficult to pull off on the stage. What I mean to say is, it seems as if it were written without actual stage performance in mind and more intended to just be read. That might be the case, but I’m sure someone is thinking right now about putting on a production. That would be fun to see.

Despite the novelty appeal, William Shakespeare’s Star Wars is a definite labor of love. After all, line after line of iambic pentameter isn’t easy to write. And there are some great inside-joke nods to the Bard with lines like “What light through yonder flashing sensor breaks?” and an Imperial Stormtrooper version of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. Doescher also speaks directly to us Star Wars geeks out here, mentioning bits that only fans would know (or care about), like whether or not Han shoots first.

Book-wise, this hardcover is a handy-sized 174 pages with some lovely ink illustrations that are meant to look like etchings I guess. Anyway, it’s a good-looking presentation.

William Shakespeare’s Star Wars is a lot of fun. It probably won’t do much for you if you’re just a Star Wars or just a Shakespeare fan, but for those who are fans of both it’s great.

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